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What are possible symptoms of hypothyroidism in women?

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Quick Answer

Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism in women include menstrual cycle changes, swollen thyroid gland, depression, dry hair or skin, and hair loss, according to WebMD. Other symptoms include fatigue, increased cold sensitivity, constipation, slow heart rate and weight issues.

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Hypothyroidism is a disorder where the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormone, explains WebMD. The thyroid gland creates hormones that enter the bloodstream and reach almost all parts of the body. The thyroid is responsible for controlling metabolism, which affects the body’s temperature, heartbeat and efficiency in burning calories. Inadequate thyroid hormone slows the body’s essential processes, leading to less energy production.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a condition where the thyroid gland is inflamed, is the primary cause of hypothyroidism, states WebMD. In people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the body sends antibodies that attack and damage the thyroid gland. Radiation therapy and radioactive iodine treatment may also lead to hypothyroidism, as radiation destroys the thyroid cells. Medications, thyroid surgery, insufficient iodine consumption and pregnancy are other possible causes of hypothyroidism.

Women, especially older women, are at a higher risk of developing hypothyroidism compared to men, notes WebMD. Anyone with a close relative who has an autoimmune disease is also likely to develop the condition. Race, age, autoimmune disorders and prematurely graying hair are other risk factors.

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